Open and shut case

People think of flowers as just there. If someone asked you to draw a tulip, you’d probably draw a fluted cup on a stick. But really they are animated things, moving with the sunlight – opening wide, closing tight, leaning left and right.

2449556929_3deecac20d_mTulipa tarda is one of my faves, and deserves to be planted more often.

My dry shade garden is a test case for challenging conditions, and the tardas prove themselves worthy.

In full sunshine, they open wide into constellations of small white stars with egg yolk yellow centres. But look at them there. Even as twilight approaches, they send up charming little flames — a last fire burning in the light of day. Hooray for that.

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